Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dawson May Have Been Forgotten but Ledley Wants Him in Brazil

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dawson May Have Been Forgotten but Ledley Wants Him in Brazil

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Football Correspondent

LEDLEY KING has urged Roy Hodgson to recall Tottenham captain Michael Dawson to his squad if England qualify for the World Cup.

Dawson was overlooked for the decisive qualifying matches against Montenegro and Poland despite being a key member of a Spurs defence which, before last weekend's surprise 3-0 home defeat by West Ham, had conceded only two goals in their opening 11 games this season.

With John Terry and Rio Ferdinand having opted out of international football and King retiring due to injury at the end of the 2011-12 season, England are not blessed with as strong a defence as in the past.

King believes Dawson, whose last cap came in March 2011, would be an ideal choice should England reach the tournament in Brazil next summer.

"At 29, Dawson is at a great age for a centre-half," said King (right). "He had his problems when the new manager arrived [Andre Villas-Boas was keen to sell Dawson in the summer of 2012] but he showed what a great professional he is and has been.

"He got back into the team and he has been a focal point of it ever since. I know his qualities and I know he is more than good enough to play on the international stage.

"I have been disappointed he hasn't been given more opportunities but I hope they will come between now and the World Cup.

"He is quite similar to John Terry, as both are underrated in terms of how good they are with the ball at their feet. Michael is brave, he's strong, he puts his body on the line and tackles very well but he is also very comfortable on the ball, which you need at international level."

King, who now works as an ambassador for Spurs, would surely have won far more than his 21 senior caps had he not suffered from the chronic knee problems that would bring his career to a premature close.

Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill performed well together in the 0-0 draw in Ukraine last month and they are likely to be paired again at Wembley on Friday. …

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